Governor Daniels accepts resignation of embattled DCS director

James Payne, director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, has stepped down.

Governor Mitch Daniels announced Monday that he accepted Payne's resignation.

"It is clear that the story of my family's person circumstances will continue to be public and that there is no concern by those about the impact this will have especially on my grandchildren," Payne wrote in his letter to Daniels. "Therefore, in fairness to my family and to all my fellow co-workers at DCS, I resign effective today."

Daniels responded with a statement, saying, "I respect (Payne's) view that his family be spared further harsh criticism, and that a difficult personal dispute, not of his own making, could be misused by those with political or special interest agendas to falsely disparage the excellent work he and his DCS co-workers have done over the last eight years."

Daniels continued, "The leading national authorities are unanimous in praising Indiana's improvements in child protection, often labeled 'worst to first,’ during Jim Payne's tenure. In the most recent measurements year, the number of fatalities among children under DCS oversight fell to four, an all-time low.

"Attacks on his record have ranged from innocently ignorant to despicably political and self-interested.  His resignation does not alter the plain truth that thousands of Indiana children are better off, and many are alive only because of the passionate and devoted leadership of this fine public servant.”

Payne's resignation follows an investigative report by the Indianapolis Star regarding the DCS director's involvement in a case surrounding his grandchildren. According to the newspaper, Payne helped his son fight DCS for custody of the children and helped draft a legal brief criticizing the agency.

DCS told Fox59 that the agency did everything it could to contact an outside agency to handle the case after Payne's grandchildren were taken away from their mother.

Governor Daniels has asked DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan to serve as director of the department. Ryan accepted the responsibilities, effective immediately.

Click here to read Payne's entire letter.








Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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